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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Moogerah Peaks National Park QLD: Mount Edwards, Mount French and Frog Buttress Camping Area.


Moogerah Peaks National Park is about 100 km west of Brisbane and consists of four separate areas near Moogerah Lake: Mount Greville, Mount Moon, Mount Edwards and Mount French.

Moogerah Lake and Mount Greville

In June we spent a day at the Mount Edwards and Mount French sections of Moogerah Peaks National Park.  We would like to have camped at the Frog Buttress camping area at Mount French but as it was a Saturday in the school holidays and right in the middle of the winter abseiling season we decided that it would be prudent to check the camping area out before making a booking on line.

Mount Edwards

We drove to Moogerah Lake via the Cunningham Highway and parked at Lake Moogerah Picnic Area off Moogerah Connection Road. This is a lovely, large, lakeside park next to the dam wall. Our aim for the morning was to walk the Mount Edwards Summit Track, a Class 5 walk with a suggested time of 3.5 hours.  Access to Mount Edwards is via the dam wall. Please check the access times before planning your walk as the gates are closed from approximately 6 pm to 6 am. At the moment, (until December 2014) there are restrictions on entering the dam wall due to upgrade works. Current information about closures can be found at http://nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/moogerah-peaks and clicking on Park Alerts.  The views from the walk are stunning.

Lake Moogerah Dam Wall Walk

I had always thought that the Lake Moogerah Caravan Park was situated here but it is in fact further around the lake. The caravan park can be seen in the distance from the dam wall and certainly looks like it would be a lovely camping location.

Entering Moogerah Peaks National Park 

We ascended the stairs on the other side of the dam wall and as soon as we entered Moogerah National Park we could hear and see Striated Pardalotes, Golden Whistlers and White-throated Honeyeaters.

White-throated Honeyeater

Spotted Pardalote

Good fitness is required for the steady climb to the summit of Mount Edwards but we enjoyed the walk as unlike all the Glasshouse Mountains we are used to on the Sunshine Coast the walk didn't get suddenly steeper and harder at the top. Our efforts were rewarded with a cool breeze and magnificent views over the valley below.

View from the Summit of Mount Edwards

More Views from the Summit of Mount Edwards

After a rest and a snack we returned via the same track to the picnic grounds. We selected a table with views over the lake and enjoyed a late picnic lunch.

Picnic View

After lunch we drove to Mount French. When we arrived the parking area was full and we were lucky to squeeze into a small spot. As we had suspected the designated camping sites at Frog Buttress camping area were all full. Indeed, there were several tents erected in non camping areas. There are two vehicle camping sites at Mount French and these both had four cars in them. Before we left home we had checked the bookings on line and only about half the sites were booked. I checked again when we went home and still only half the sites were booked. 

Mount French Day Use Area

The campground looked like it would be very pleasant if you could manage to camp at a quiet time. However, the rock climbing season is from Easter to October and it apparently gets very hot at Mount French in the summer.There is an amenities block with flushing toilets, non-potable water and a day use area adjoining the car park. No generators or pets allowed. There are fourteen separate, defined, unnumbered sites about 100 meters from the car park and there are two designated vehicle camping sites out near the car park. The camping area is not suitable for caravans as it is walk in and there is nowhere to park a van. The road in is also narrow and steep.

View from Logans Lookout, Mount French

North Cliff Track is a 720 m, 15 minute, Class 3 track that is accessed from the car park near the amenities block. This is a return track to Logans Lookout to see the stunning views.
We had hoped to walk the Mee-bor-rum Circuit, a Class 3, 840 m, 25 minute walk but the track was closed due to a pathogen infection. I always check "Park Alerts" before travelling to a national park because it is handy to know of any closures, burn offs or other hazards before driving long distances to a park and being disappointed. I have usually found this system works well but in this case the closure was not listed.

After an enjoyable day we made our way home via the Ipswich-Boonah Road which we found to be more relaxing than the Cunningham Highway.

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